Desperately Need Cartridge Help

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by James Noel, May 19, 2020.

  1. James Noel

    James Noel Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    MA
    Ok, so I am in complete analysis paralysis mode picking a new cart. Too much information available online! I currently own a Rega RP3 with GT metal sub platter and delrin main platter. My amp is a Yamaha A-S1000. Current cart is an Ortofon 2M blue. I previously had the red and the blue is definitely nicer but I want to move to the next level of sound. I originally thought Rega Ania maybe but I am reading it is overly bright. I should say I am looking for an detailed but smooth listen. I listen almost exclusively in headphones (ATH 1000) so overly bright is not good. I've since been bouncing around from 2M black, 2M bronze, quintet bronze and Hana SL. I am now going in circles. 2M black sounds like maybe not for me as many of my lp's are used with most of those being 60's jazz, so surface noise will be instantly noticeable. 2M bronze sounds intriguing but the Hana gets so much love I want to give it a whirl. My concern is it's an MC and while the A-S1000 preamp can handle both it is not adjustable gain. Anyone have some good recommendations?

    To make my life more difficult my daughter just found, on the side of the road, a perfectly working Thorens TD 145. I had Dave at vinyl nirvana mount a cheap cart. I replaced the RCA connects and gave it a good cleaning. Surprisingly good sound...but this is a topic for another post :)
     
    Dennis Metz likes this.
  2. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    What are the gain, loading, and capacitance specs of the phono preamp in your integrated?
     
  3. daytona600

    daytona600 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    2M Bronze & if out like the sound upgrade to the Black Stylus
     
  4. G B Kuipers

    G B Kuipers Forum Resident

    Location:
    Netherlands
    I have owned the A-S1000. A few thoughts:
    -avoid brighter carts as the amp is a tad bright itself. With a Denon dl110 I had to turn Treble to 9:00 to get acceptable brightness, but I prefer not to use tone controls.
    -go for carts with a strong mid punch, such as older Shures, as the amp is a bit recessed in the lower mids.
    -the onboard phono preamp is okay for mm, not very good for mc carts (my experience)
     
  5. James Noel

    James Noel Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    MA
    In response to patient_ot, not sure on those specs. Need to find my manual.

    Daytona600, good point. I could start bronze then upgrade stylus if I wanted. Just worried about too bright with the black.

    G B Kupiers, thank you. That's great info. In particular which shure models? I am not very familiar with there carts.
     
  6. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Basic Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    well, this forum tends to exaggerate things to a certain extent. The 2m Black isn't as bad at revealing surface noise as people make it out and the Hanna isn't the best thing that ever happened. I have run a blue and a black on different tables simultaneously, I can tell you that if a record is noisy with a black, its just as noisy with the blue. The black is just more vivid from top to bottom. I would personally find that vividness a bit much if I was only listening through headphones. For that reason, I would go with the Hanna.

    If you are not going to have an extrnal phono with enough gain for a lomc cart, I'd stick with MM and this is the next level after the 2m Black. Clearaudio - Maestro V2 Ebony MM Cartridge | Shop Music Direct

    I'd just skip the part where you try to compromise and get a HOMC. That's just a cart for stubborn guys that refuse to buy a phono stage.
     
    vinnn and Rolltide like this.
  7. James Noel

    James Noel Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    MA
    Yes, it appears staying MM is best for my current setup. I'll check out that clear audio offering as well as shure v15. I will definitely not get a HOMC :)
     
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  8. bloodlemons

    bloodlemons Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tacoma, WA, USA
    I recently picked up a used Shure V15-Type V and a new Jico ML replacement stylus and it sounds GOOD. Gives my MC carts a run for their money, which surprised me,
     
    caracallac likes this.
  9. evo777

    evo777 Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.K.
    I know people will hammer me for this but if you're NOT going to go MC,then you're best ALL ROUND bet will "probably' be a Audio Technica AT-VM95SH or ML(here it comes duck!).

    NONE us here have heard EVERY Cartridge that's out there (!). We can ONLY advise as we see fit(that's why people post, surly?), I've not heard every cart I know but,I do own the AT-VM95SH & two more high spec ,more expensive carts & I've heard carts I don't own on other systems. The Audio Technica AT-VM95SH is better than a Rega Ania......on my system....and it was very obvious... Audio Technica AT-VM95SH £154.... Rega Ania £500...!!!!
    I know the way I would go if I had to do it again,price ISN'T always a guarantee of quality or more importantly......"Synergy".

    I wish you all the best really,it can be a mind **** when you ask for advice.

    -evo777
     
    Sweetspot likes this.
  10. James Noel

    James Noel Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    MA
    Thanks! Yes, I know asking for advice is tricky. It is all so personally subjective. Just the mind numbing amount of cartridges is a mind f***! I'll add those AT to my list :)

    Evo777, where did you get the V15V? Ebay? I've seen a few just not sure about reputable sellers.
     
  11. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Yamaha A-S1000 - Manual - Stereo Integrated Amplifier - HiFi Engine

    ^The service manual is there. I would try to get someone to look at the input caps on the phono section schematic if there is one in the service manual. I wouldn't buy any high output MM/MI cart without knowing that value first.
     
  12. bloodlemons

    bloodlemons Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tacoma, WA, USA
    I think you mean me. Yes, I got the V15 cart on eBay. Got the new stylus direct from Jico.
     
  13. Davey

    Davey I carry the moon inside a silver bag

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  14. bloodlemons

    bloodlemons Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tacoma, WA, USA
    Looking at my eBay acct, I paid $152 for the V15 Type V-MR cart. It came in original box, etc, but with no stylus.
    The Jico VN5MR stylus was $199.

    For what it’s worth, I also have the AT VMN60SLC, but have not A/B’d the two. My memory is that they compare favorably. I have changed some things in my setup since last time I mounted the VMN60SLC, so it’s hard to say.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
  15. evo777

    evo777 Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.K.
    Hi...
    I see this is getting a bit much so I won't personally post anything else after this,no offense but I just want you to make your mind up & be done sometimes too much of a good thing(advise!)is not...well good.

    I haven't a "V15V" it's a Audio Technica AT-VM95SH, for it's price point(£155) it's FANTASTIC.
    There isn't that many bad reviews/opinions on it so you should take it that,it does go well in a myriad of systems, really.

    Here(https://www.whathifi.com/yamaha/s1000/review)is a u.k. review of your amp it sounds like a decent bit of gear.
    If you were to buy a good budget Cartridge you would STILL have funds available for a Phono Pre Amp of your choice to EXACTLY match the cartridge you already have...if you aren't happy with it just via your amp.

    *Link not working don't know why sorry*
    Cut n Paste...
    OUR VERDICT
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    There's something reassuringly old-school about the Yamaha A-S1000 amplifier, and this rather big – almost 14cm tall – and heavy – 22kg – amplifier is beautifully built.

    And so it should be: it's closely related to the £1495 A-S2000, principally lacking only that model's fully balanced design.

    Only the preamplifier has been simplified, and even here there's a triple parallel design for volume and tone, and a high-quality moving coil/moving magnet phono stage.

    Effortless power, easy to match
    There are four line-ins, separate sockets for preamp out and power amp input, and two sets of speaker outputs per channel to allow A/B switching or facilitate biwiring.

    The A-S1000 delivers 90W per channel, and sounds effortlessly powerful. It isn't the fastest or most attacking amp, but it has that ‘big motor' sense of effortless delivery and bags of oomph in reserve, even when you play large-scale music at pretty serious levels.

    If there is a downside, it's not that this amp is ever lacking in drive or dynamic ability, rather that the tonality is on the generous side of neutral, rather than straying into any top-end brightness.

    Still, that makes it supremely easy to match with other sources or speakers, even if it won't keep metal fans pinned to their seats
    Yamaha A-S1000 at Audio Visual Online for £899

    Audio-Technica AT-VM95SH

    Good luck once again, take your time as a "rash buy" can lead to more confusion.

    -evo777
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
  16. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos, non-covid style

    Location:
    San Diego
    You'll need to find out the capacitance of the phono section on the Yamaha before buying AT carts. Needs to be 100pf or something close to it. Otherwise, the exact thing you hate (mid treble brightness) is going to happen.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  17. bloodlemons

    bloodlemons Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tacoma, WA, USA
    Everything I can find online (not much) seems to indicate capacitance may be 200pF. Assuming phono section is the same as the A-S2000...
     
  18. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos, non-covid style

    Location:
    San Diego
    So including your turntable and cables, your probably going to be around 300pf. AT recommends 100-200pf. That being said, I have used AT carts in the 300pf range for years now and I like the sound. But I have a warm sounding system to begin with. I also use some EQ on bright recordings.
     
  19. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    If 200pf or more, too high for AT carts.
     
  20. James Noel

    James Noel Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    MA
    I'll have to do some more research on the capacitance. Thanks for that reminder!
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  21. James Noel

    James Noel Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    MA
    Anyone have any experience reading electrical diagrams? Service manual shows a bunch of capacitors of different types in the phone stage. all of varying values and none with units. There is a reason I am a mechanical engineer and not electrical...this stuffs too confusing for me :)
     
  22. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Post a thread on AudioKarma with the subject specifically saying "Phono Stage Schematic Help" or something like that. You'll probably get more help there. More repair/DIY types on there.
     
  23. James Noel

    James Noel Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    MA
    That's a good idea. I'll try that. I've tried Yamaha as well. Hopefully I'll get answer one way or another.
     
    bloodlemons and patient_ot like this.
  24. James Noel

    James Noel Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    MA
    Ok, so I've confirmed impedance is 47k ohm for MM and 50 ohm for MC.

    It appears the MM capacitance is 100pf
    I am waiting to get confirmation on this one from Yamaha.

    It it is 100pf then my cart options could include the Audio Technica VM's as well as the Shure V15. Think I need to keep the ortofon bronze in the mix too.

    What are folks opinions on Grado and Nagaoka? Grado seems to never make it as a top recommendation but thought I'd ask as I know little about them. Dont know much about Nagaoka either but the MP 200 seems to do pretty well but the AT VM seems to rate higher.

    If I try a VM should it be the 740ML or 750SH? Again keeping in mind I want to avoid overly bright.
     
  25. robertash

    robertash Forum Resident

    I would get rid of the GT metal sub platter and delrin main platter - you'll get your midrage and musicality back. Then you can add your salt and pepper with any nude cut stylus.
     
    David Sonnier likes this.

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